Friday, 7 November 2014

Up and down, up and down, 'til they're clean and sparkly.

Are you old enough to remember the old 'brush your teeth correctly' health education campaign; 'up and down, up and down, 'til they're clean and sparkly?' Hmmm, probably not. And surprisingly, it seems to be the only video in the universe which isn't available on Youtube. (Lucky you!)

Anyway, the Spanish also love a good health education video, so here's their own 'brush you teeth' offering, with a catchy little song for you to sing along to.

(N.B., the karaoke lyrics at the bottom are quite difficult to read so I've transcribed them for you below and added a translation.)


Siempre después de desayunar,
Los dientes hay que lavar.
Despues de comer,
Despues de cenar,
Pasta, cepillo.
¡Y porte a limpiar!
Subir, Subir,
Bajar, Bajar,
Tu boca sana y briliant está.
Recuerda que tus hijos pueden disfrutar
de una revisión anual gratuita en el dentista.

Always after having breakfast,
You have to wash your teeth.
After eating,
After having dinner,
Paste, brush.
Get cleaning!
Up, up,
Down, down, 
Your mouth is healthy and shining.
Remember that your children can enjoy(!)
a free annual check-up at the dentist.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Truco o trato!

Truco o trato! Any guesses? A clue? I heard it a lot last night, 31 de octubre...

Here's something you might have been given (as a trato) if you were out last night:

I imagine the picture has given the game away by now. Yes, we're talking Hallowe'en en España. Can you guess what Pintalenguas means? You'll need to look up pintar (un verbo) and lengua (un sustantivo) in your Spanish/English diccionarios...

La respuesta below, so no peeking...

So, now you know that pintar means 'to paint'; you might already have known that lengua is tongue'. So, pintalenguas are 'toungue-painting' sweets. You suck them and your tongue turns rojo o negro o naranja, depending on which color you chose.

I hope you had a great Hallowe'en!


Friday, 26 September 2014

Fiesta cuatro: RUN!

I imagine you might have heard about 'bull-running'. You might even know that Pamploma has a famous 'bull-running' fiesta every year.

But this picture wasn't taken in Pamploma.

And this bull isn't exactly 'normal'... 

 Yes, it's got wheels!

During the late summer, in many towns along the Valencian coastline, there are 'bull-running' fiestas. That's real bulls and real people. Yes it's dangerous, people are sometimes badly injured, even killed.

But these children aren't in any danger. There's a lot of screaming, yes.

And of course, a lot of running.

Well, there's also a bit of toddling...

...and sometimes, a bit of limping... 

Here's looking at you, baby!  

Here's looking at baby bull...

Sometimes, your friends don't look themselves.

It's probably time to take a taxi home.

Let's hope you make it safely...

Of course, not everyone likes being chased by bulls. Even bulls on wheels...

Even bulls with water-pistols...

But everyone loves to see an expert at work. And you can always spot one. 
He's got the look. 
He's got the cape. 
He's got the cool hairdo...


If you'd like to see some bull-running pictures from previous years check these posts out.

And have an exciting weekend!

Saturday, 3 May 2014

El Día a Mamá.

Spotted this in a shop window...

Great picture, but can you work out what it's all about? Here are some clues...

1. What does 'Día a Mamá' mean?
2. Do you know what 'regalos' are?
3. Why is the little girl carrying a present?
4. Why is she wearing adult high-heels?

Here are the answers.  
1. 'Día a Mamá' (or 'Día de la Madre') is Mothers' Day in Spanish. It's celebrated on the first Sunday in May which this year is tomorrow, the 4th.
2. 'Regalos' are presents.
3. See 1 & 2.
4. See 1 & 2.

The final word in the headline alégrale comes from the verb alegrar which means to cheer up. So the full meaning will be:

Cheer up Mothers' Day with cool presents.

So, is 'cool' a Spanish word? Well, no. The Spanish word for cool is guay, but this shop seems to like the English word, which is well understood in Spain.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

La Confitería

La Confitería (sweet shop) in our plaza has a lot more than just sweets, as you can see...

There are 18 things on the list. Can you guess what some of them are without looking at the pictures? Why not make it a competition? (Decide whether or not you're going to use dictionaries.)

Maybe your teacher will give a prize for the group which gets the most?? I'd suggest that most Spanish of all sweets... some Chupa-Chups! And don't go all British on me by pronouncing Chupa to rhyme with 'cuppa'. Haven't you seen the 'Bum, bum Madrid' post? Say, 'Choopa-choops!'  

¡Disfruta! (Enjoy!)

P.S. As a tie-breaker question, why do you think Chupa Chups are so called? (A clue? Use your dictionary.)

The answers to the quiz are below... no peeking!

Las respuestas:

PRENSA is newspapers.
REVISTAS magazines.
CHUCHERIAS sweets, but also trinkets, knick-knacks, junk.
PETARDOS bangers, usually only on sale during Las Fallas, or other regional (noisy) fiestas.
TABACO Correct!
ARTÍCULOS DE REGALO Presents or gifts.
CUMPLEAÑOS  Birthdays.
BAUTIZOS Baptisms.
COMUNIONES Communions.
BODAS Weddings.
HIELO Ice (pronounced 'yellow'.)
HELADOS Ice-creams.
JUEGOS ONCE Lottery tickets from the charity for blind and partially sighted people, ONCE (Organización Nacional de Ciegos Españoles)  (Pronounced on-thay)- For an extended blog-post on ONCE, see ONCE BLOG

And finally, why Chupa-Chups? Well, did you find the Spanish verb Chupar in your dictionary?

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

¡Carnaval Quiz!

Yes, it's Carnaval (not Carnival, as in the UK) time, and remember to stress the 'val' bit.

Here in Spain, dressing up is very popular. All the children (and staff) in school will come with a home-made or commercially-made costume. To give you a flavour, here are some of the costumes (disfraces) available. Try to guess what they are before you look at the description (below each picture). Why not make it a class quiz?

Before you start, here are a few of the other words you'll see:

Disfraz (dees-frath)  Costume (it also means 'disguise').
Talla (tie-yah) Size.
Años (an-yos) Years.

1. Animadora (an-ee-mad-or-ah) is a cheerleader.

2. Blancanieves means 'white-snows' or Snow White to you.
 3. Bob Esponja? SpongeBob!
4. Bombero (pronounce it 'Bom-bear-oh') is a fireman.
5. Cangrejo (pr. Can-greh-ho) is a crab. Very Spanish!
6. Cerdito. Cerdo is a pig, so cerdito (ther-dee-toe) is a little pig or piglet.
 7. Apparently (I asked the girls in my class) 'Monster High' is very popular here in Spain and 'Clawdeen Wolf' is one of the main characters. So now I know...
 8. Cocinero (Coth-een-air-oh) is a cook (or chef).
 9. Esqueleto (es-kell-et-oh) is a skeleton. Notice that many English words that start with 's' have a Spanish equivalent that starts with 'es', (Esquela- school: espagueti-spaghetti: estudio-study).
 10. Gallina (Guy-ee-nah) is a chicken.
 11. Marinero (mah-reen-air-oh) is a sailor.
 12. Muñeca (moon-yek-ah) is a doll.
 13. Payaso (pie-ass-oh) is a clown.
 14. Pitufo (pee-too-foh) is a Smurf.
15. Rey del Pop? King of Pop; but 'Michael Jackson' to you and me.
 16. Sevillana (sev-ee-yan-ah) is a 'girl from Seville', but we'd probably call her a 'Flamenco-dancer'.
 17. Soldado (sol-dad-oh) is a soldier.
 18. Torero (tor-air-oh) is a bull-fighter.
 19. Trenecito (tren-eh-thee-toe) is a little train; looks like Thomas to me!
 20. Vampiro (vam-pee-roh)... need I say more?
21. Vaquero (vack-air-roh) is a cowboy.

And finally, to show you that it's not just Spanish niños who get involved in Carvaval, here are some of the adult costumes which I haven't chosen to wear!

Espantapajaros (es-panta-pah-aros) means 'scare brids'; scarecrow to us.
Sumo. A great word to learn your Spanish 'u' sound, just say it as you would in English.
Vaca. Moooo!
Gallo (Guy-yo) is a cock (without the doodle-doo).

If you enjoyed this little game, check out the website where I found the pics for lots (lots!) more example of the Spaniards at play.

Fancy Dress.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Fonix is phun!

Now stop it! Calm down! This is serious! We're going to do a little Spanish phonics lesson today and I want you all to concentrate!

We're going to learn about the Spanish letter 'U', and I hope this will be one lesson you'll never forget. (That's if you ever stop laughing!)

The letter 'U', named 'you' in English, but 'oo' in Spanish (think of the sound you make when you say the word 'soon') is a very interesting vowel.

In English, it can make a number of different sounds. Think about 'cut' and 'cute' for starters, but also remember some of the other words it gets mixed up in, like 'though', 'busy' and 'cure'.

In Spanish (luckily for you) this sort of muddle doesn't tend to happen. Letters (nearly always) make one sound only. So in Spanish, the letter 'U', which is called 'oo' also makes an 'oo' sound.

So, back to where we started and the 'Bum, bum Madrid' headline. Can you now read it as a Spaniard would read it? 

Yes, that's right, 'Boom, boom Madrid'. And you can now probably guess (by looking at the score) exactly what it means, Real Madrid have beaten Betis 0-5. The 'boom, boom' suggests destruction, like a bomb going off, blowing poor old Betis to pieces.

Not quite as funny as it looks (to English eyes) but I hope it will help you to remember the Spanish 'U' name and sound.

I just hope your teacher doesn't consider this lesson to be a bit too cheeky!

Boom, boom!

N.B. Due to pressure at work and other writing commitments I am going to change the deadline for my Spain4Primary blog from once a week to once a month. I apologise to everyone, especially those of you who have sent me messages of thanks for various postings. If I spot something really interesting I will add a few 'surprise' postings (and publicise them as usual on the TES forum and Twitter @JeremyJoseDean); but as a rule Spain4Primary will now appear on the first weekend of every month, starting on the weekend of the 1st of March. 
Un saludo, Jeremy Dean.

Monday, 27 January 2014

¡Hola chicas!

Last week we looked at popular boys' names and translated them into their Spanish equivalents. This week, it's the girls' turn.
Let's start again with the most popular 20 girls' names for 2013: 

1. Olivia        Olivia is also used in Spain
2. Emily         Emilia
3. Sophia      Sofia (remember the stress, So-fee-ya)
4. Lily           Liliana
5. Isabella     Isabella also used en español
6. Isabelle     Isabel
7. Amelia      Amalia
8. Isla           No translation found
 9. Sophie     Sofia
10.Ava          NTF
11.Chloe       Cloe (No 'ee' sound at the end, Clo-eh)
12.Poppy      NTF
13.Jessica    Yessica
14.Mia         Marita
15.Ella         NTF
16.Grace     Gracia (Usually lisped, Gra-thee-ya)
17.Evie        Eva (Not pronounced Ee-va; but Eh-va. Rhymes with 'never' if you drop the 'r')
18.Lucy       Lucía Again, lisped, Loo-thee-ya
19.Alice      Alicia
20.Layla      NTF

There are a lot of names there without a translation, so here are a few more from the top 30 to keep you going:

24. Charlotte  Carlota
29. Emma       Ema
31. Hannah     Ana
34. Phoebe     Febe No 'Fee' sound, Feh-beh
36. Ellie         Elisa/Isa (Ee-sa)
39. Matilda     Matilde

If you want to find a name that I haven't listed, or to find out where you are in the top 100 names for 2013, then go to: Top 100 baby names chosen in 2013

If you want to check if your own name has a Spanish variation, I've been using this website: Name translator Just pop your name into the search box at the top and you'll find variations for many languages.

As I said last week, why not use your 'Spanish' names in your Spanish lessons, so you'll have them on the tips of your tongues the next time you arrive in España ready to make some new amig@s! That's the funky way young Spaniards avoid having to write 'amigos and amigas'. Cool, eh?

Hasta pronto, 

Saturday, 18 January 2014

¿Cómo te llamas, chicos?

So what's your name?

I was surprised when I moved to Spain to discover how many Spanish names there were. I expected to find a few, like Miguel and Pedro, Carmen and Isabel. What I wasn't ready for was that pretty much every child in my class would have a 'Spanish' name. I just didn't realise there were so many. I thought a lot of them would have names like us, that we'd share more names. Just shows how much I had to learn.
This week I'm going to look at Spanish boys' names. Next week, we'll look at the girls.

Here are the top-20 English boys' names for 2013 (the first half of the year) with their Spanish 'translation' if I can find one. If I can't, and you can, let me know and I'll add it to the list. 
Note also that I've tried to give you a pronunciation guide. For example, Thomas and Tomás may look almost the same, but Spaniards stress the second syllable while we stress the first:

1. Oliver                   No translation found 
2. Jack/John           Juan (say H-won to rhyme with fun)
3. Charlie/Charles   Carlos/Carlito(s)
4. Harry                   Enrique (say En-ree-kay)
5. Oscar                   Óscar
6. Ethan                  NTF
7. Jacob                  Jacobo (say Jack-o-boh)
8. Thomas                Tomás (say Tom-as)
9. George                 Jorge (say Hor-hay)
10. James               Jaime (say high-may)
11. Alfie                  Alfredo
12. Daniel               Daniel (say Danielle)
13. William           Guillermo (say Gee yer moh using the 'Gee' sound from 'Geek' (not 'Jeep').
14. Henry                Enrique (again)
15. Joshua               Josué (say Ho-soo-eh)
16. Max                   Maximiliano (stress 'an')
17. Noah                 Noé (say No-eh)
18. Alexander          Alejandro (say Al eh han dro)
19. Benjamin         Benjamín (say Ben yah meen)
20. Dylan                NTF

Some of the other common Spanish name translations which you might need are:

Edward    Eduardo
Michael    Miguel (say Mee-gel with 'gel' to have a hard 'g' like in 'get' not hair 'gel')
Paul     Pablo
Peter   Pedro
Ralph    Raúl (say Rah-ool

Why don't you 'adopt' a Spanish name for your Spanish classes? Then you can get into the swing of pronouncing them, ready for your next visit to España where you'll no doubt need them!

Next week, las chicas!

Friday, 10 January 2014

Just When You Thought it was Safe...

So you've bought all the presents, decorated the tree, left out some carrots and a mince pie, opened the presents, eaten the turkey, even celebrated New Year. It must be all over by now!

But not here in España. If you really, really, REALLY love Christmas, then Spain is the place for you.

It was the 5th of January when I got a call from a friend telling me to go down to my local port if I was interested in Spanish traditions. I arrived to find that I wasn't alone. There were hundreds of people there, most dressed in 'Sunday best', all looking out to sea...

Can't spot them? Look closer...

See them now? It's the Three Kings (Reyes Magos in Spanish); Melchior, Baltazar and Gaspar arriving by boat! Actually, you shouldn't be too surprised by the boat, because (according to newspaper and TV reports) in other towns and cities across Spain they were arriving by all manner of transport including catamaran (Marbella) and helicopter (Fuengirola).

Having arrived and disembarked these Reyes continued their tour of the town...

... by open-top car!

Across Spain, Kings led processions through towns and villages (sometimes throwing sweets) wishing everybody well for what is traditionally the Spanish Christmas Day on January 6th!

I spoke to a number of my Spanish friends and discovered that until quite recently, Spanish children received their presents on the 6th. But in more recent years, Santa Claus (Papa Noel) has joined the party and many (lucky) young Spaniards now get presents on the 25th of diciembre and the 6th of enero!

You can see the tradition changing in the streets of my local town where you'll see the Reyes Magos visiting... well as Papa Noel...

Some families are obviously keen to hedge their bets...

While others seem slightly confused...

You'll no doubt know that Spain is a hot country and that many people live in pisos (flats). That means that there aren't many chimneys about, which explains why it sometimes seems that there's a spate of burglaries going on during the festive period...

 I hope you all had a ¡Feliz Navidad! (and a Prospero Año Nuevo) and are ready to learn more about the wonderful country that is España!